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  Speaker Pelosi Weekly News Conference  CSPAN  April 4, 2019 7:43pm-8:01pm EDT

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7:00 eastern friday morning. join the discussion. announcer 2: earlier today, house speaker nancy pelosi held a briefing with reporters at the capital. this is about 20 minutes. ms. pelosi: good morning, everyone. >> good morning. ms. pelosi: may i sadly convey condolences to our friends at "the hill" and all of you and the family of vicky needham? what a sad thing to learn of her passing. i know she's your colleague on the hill. i know her -- her family needs our prayers and i wanted to commend -- wanted to extend my condolences. yesterday we had a big day on the hill to observe the 70th anniversary of nato with a joint session, to hear from the
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secretary general, stoltenberg. secretary general of nato. he talked about how successful nato had been. it gave us a chance to say thank you to him for his leadership and to nato for being the force for peace that it has continued to be. i was very pleased that we had strong bipartisan invitation and support for his visit. it is a continuation of that demonstration of support for our transatlantic relationship, as he said yesterday, the atlantic ocean does not separate us, it unifies us. just a month ago many of us were in munich for the munich security conference. over 50 -- it was like 51 house and senate democrats and republicans went to that meeting to demonstrate our support for the transatlantic alliance. following that, we went to brussels where even more bipartisanship was demonstrated
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at the nato interparliamentary meeting in brussels. again, strong bipartisan support for nato and for the transatlantic relationship. as he said at the end of his speech, he addressed the vice president when he said, it is good to have friends, and that friendship is what we saluted yesterday. i was very proud of the occasion to join leader mitch mcconnell and other leaders to invite the secretary to commemorate the 70th anniversary. last night representative cuellar and representative escobar introduced a resolution condemning the president's reckless threat to shut down the border. he likes shutting down things. shut down the government. shut down the border. shutting down the border would threaten good paying american jobs, hurt our economy, violate our values, and gravely hurt our country. you should read the resolution because it talks about how many
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-- the concern that we have for our jobs in the united states, shortages of fruits, vegetables, fresh fruit, how harmful it would be to the auto and manufacturing plants, risking furlough of american workers, shutdown of american production lines. it also says that the president should not stop the assistance to the northern triangle, countries of central america. if we in fact want people to stay home, we have to address some of the challenges they have at home. and we do, quote, the u.s. southern command -- commander, a former southern commander in saying, the best thing we can do to reduce the flow of refugees from central america is help improve conditions there. suddenly stopping all foreign aid will only increase the driving forces creating caravans over time. goes on to reference it. then it also is sad about what
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it means to our values. we passed legislation in a bipartisan way, the president signed, for humanitarian relief at the southern border for medical professionals, for food , for even diapers and the rest. so the president should use the tools that are at his disposal to address the humanitarian needs at the border, should stop engaging in activities that are harmful to the subject in terms of stopping assistance that we've already voted, the money is there, for central america, and recognize the closure's impact on our economy. we also affirm individuals have a right to due process. the president wants -- the administration wants to shut down the number of judges, which we funded in order to facilitate those cases in one way or another. so i'm very, very proud of the work of representatives cuellar
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and escobar and many other members who will be joining them as well. but this week, as you know, we focused on, again, continue to focus on our for-the-people agenda. you saw in front of the supreme court, in opposition to the president wanting to overturn 100% of the affordable care act, while he pretends, and the republicans pretend, that they care about protecting the benefit of pre-existing conditions, of lifetime limits and the rest, removing those lifetime limits and the rest. so we will -- we continue down that path as part of our for-the-people agenda, to lower the cost of health care, to increase paychecks by building infrastructure of our country, to have the government advancing hr-1. but in this -- on the health care front, we are fighting the president and saying, this is the law of the land.
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it's the responsibility of the justice department to uphold the law of the land, and now he's reversing that. at the same time, we're hard at work to lower health care costs and strengthen health protections. last night energy and commerce, they were all day, but up until last night, reported out 12 bills to lower health care costs and the price of prescription drugs, expand access to care and protect people with pre-existing conditions. many of these were bipartisan. one of them came out 51-0. it creates an -- and all of them will deliver results, positive results in the lives of the american people. this week, education and labor advanced democrats -- democratic efforts to lower health care costs by holding a key hearing on protecting americans from surprise billings. and yesterday, in sharp contrast to what you hear them say, 185 republicans voted against representative allred's resolution to call on the
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administration to end their brutal texas v. u.s. lawsuit to destroy the a.c.a. and life-saving protections. i come back to where i began this week on the supreme court protections against pre-existing , conditions, bans on lifetime limits, annual limits, medicaid expansion, savings for seniors on the prescription drugs, vital premium assistance that makes health coverage affordable to millions of americans. it is not just -- just however important and that would be reason enough to expand access to health care to 20 million more americans. but what it did also for more like 150 million families was to take us on a path of lowering costs, increased benefits, some of which i named, and we will fight this fight, and we will fight it in court. our republican colleagues keep saying they support these things, and yet every time they have a chance, they vote against them. as you know, today on the floor,
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happily, we are doing another initiative to help end violence in our country. the house democrats continue to work to deliver results with the passage of a strong, bipartisan, long-term re-authorization of the violence against women act. the bill preserves the vital progress we made in 2013, i was even here in the 1990's when we first passed the bill actually. a pretty exciting time for us. and we had the most recent re-authorization in 2013 under president obama. this bill, again, protects lgbtq, native american and immigrant women and every woman every place. this is for women and for men. violence against women and families and men as well. so i'm very proud of the work that we've done. pretty soon, and we'll be
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observing it, our 100 days in office will be coming up. you have to remember that in the first few weeks of that, we were in the midst of a government shutdown. even with that i'm very proud of the record that we have had for the people on the initiatives that we said we were going to work on, that we have done, we've either introduced, launched -- launched, introduced, had hearings, written up bills in committee, passed some on the floor, and the beat goes on. so but that's another few days. , who knows what we'll do between now and then. any questions? >> [speaking simultaneously] >> on the president's tax returns, chairman neil has said this is a matter of policy, not politics. what's the legislative purpose to having the president's tax reforms? what law could you pass that you can't act on that? ms. pelosi: the law exists. the law is very clear. the law says, and i'll read it to you -- the law says that upon written
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request from the chairman of the committee on ways and means, or the chairman of the finance, or the chairman of joint committee of taxation -- that would be one of the two, -- but the secretary shall furnace, shall, not may, should, could -- shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request. and that is what he's talking about. now he takes this further. he has been very thoughtful in this, and yesterday when he informed me that he was making -- that it was going to be imminently be in the press, this is a policy matter. the president and the vice president are audited. that's what happens. that audit. congress has an oversight responsibility to see that that is happening. if it has happened and how it has happened, and that's the
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policy aspect of this. but this is again, i commend him , for his thoughtfulness on the subject and how he has proceeded with it. >> [speaking simultaneously] >> just in the past -- ms. pelosi: it's not your birthday today. >> on a slightly different topic, have you gotten any indications from anyone on the mueller team or anyone at d.o.j. that attorney general barr mischaracterized their findings? ms. pelosi: all i can say to that, nancy, is just release the mueller report. you're hearing rumors, i don't have any idea how accurate they are, but in the public domain, there are comments that people on the mueller team think that there is a mischaracterization by the attorney general. i don't know. there's an easy answer to this. release the mueller report. as soon as possible. and let me just say, the mueller report will be released. it's a question of -- to us it
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is inevitable. to them, it is inconceivable. we have to shorten the distance between the inevitable and the inconceivable. >> [speaking simultaneously] >> just in the past 48 hours, your committee chairman has subpoenaed for security clearance, subpoenaed for -- ms. pelosi: they haven't subpoenaed for anything. they haven't subpoenaed for anything. >> for information -- ms. pelosi: no, no, no, no. they have gotten the authority to subpoena. >> the house oversight committee served someone with a subpoena. ms. pelosi: you were listing a whole list of things. >> there are a whole list of things that happened. yesterday the authorization of the mueller report subpoena, and the chairman requesting the tax returns of the president. are you concerned that this is playing to the republicans' narrative -- ms. pelosi: no, i am not. my chairmen, they've been very thoughtful. they're evidence-baseded in what they're doing. they're honor the constitution of the united states, article i, the legislative branch, which has oversight responsibility over the other branches of government. >> madam do you think that
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, robert mueller, the special special counsel, should testify before congress? ms. pelosi: i am not going into that. i think they should release the report. that's where the evidence is -- the information is. let's see the report. if they don't have anything to hide, they shouldn't worry. if they don't have any concern about their taxes, they shouldn't be worried about releasing their tax returns. so yes, ma'am. >> are you considering using the u.s.-mca deal as leverage for other things? ms. pelosi: no. it will stand on its own. i'm hopeful that we could get a trade agreement, but it has to be one that is real and that works. i myself voted for nafta first time around. -- thing of that longevity that can get a fresh look is important to do. however i do also think that we're only chatting unless we're enforcing. and that's my point, is that i
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want to see stronger enforcement language. we have three concerns that you know about workers -- condition of workers in the u.s. and in mexico, exploiting workers in mexico is not good for workers in the united states. secondly the -- not in any particular order, but the environmental concerns that we have with every trade agreement. and third, the issue of price of pharmaceuticals, which is major concern among our members. to name three issues of discussion. are subtext to the overarching issue of, are we going to have real enforcement? if you don't have real enforcement, then again, we will be disappointed, as i have been, in nafta as one who voted for it before. >> [speaking simultaneously] >> on the tax returns here, some republicans have said this is an effort in, their word, weaponize the law? and democrats have tried to get the president's tax returns since the campaign.
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even congressman neal said he thought it was in for a long court battle. do you genuinely think you guys will eventually get the tax returns of the president? ms. pelosi: let me say a couple of things about this. the u.s. tax code, section 6103 -- remember those numbers -- 6103, provides congress with the legal authority to get the tax returns. the irs manual requires -- the irs manual requires, requires an audit of the president, and congress has the duty to ensure that has been done and done properly. we also need to determine whether congress should require by statute the irs to do such an audit in the scope of any audit. ways and means request under section 6103 -- ways and means requests under 6103 have never been denied, have never been denied.
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ways and means has invoked the authority in the normal course of its oversight of tax administration many times before. so we are, again, honoring the constitution. it just seems like every time you turn around, there's another thing. the president is saying wind power causes cancer. i associate myself with the remarks of chairman grassley. it's an idiotic statement. >> [laughter] ms. pelosi: so let us -- let's rise to a level of presidential in all of this. show us the mueller report. show us the tax returns. and we're not walking away just because you say no the first time around. thank you all very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] up live friday on
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c-span, vice president joe biden will speak at a conference for electrical union workers. then, the head of the atomic energy agency on nuclear safeguards. combatingussion about isis in syria and iraq. on c-span2, the republican national lawyers association hosts a conference in washington, d.c. with senator lindsey graham and representative doug collins among the speakers. that gets underway at 8:45 a.m. eastern. on c-span three and 9:00 the brookings institution looks at how the domestic lyrical climate in the u.s. is affecting foreign policy and national security. up next on c-span, we hear from fbi director christopher wray, followed by president trump and his cabinet talking about investments and other opportunities for economically distressed communities. and, a resolution to end u.s. mili a